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Finally ticked off another beautiful destination from my bucket list - CHIANG RAI.

 Chiang Rai may be less known as compared to Chiang Mai, but I must say, Chiang Rai is really a beautiful city. Thanks to AirAsia, we all can now fly to Chiang Rai directly and the flight takes approximately 2 hours 50 mins from Kuala Lumpur. Also, AirAsia currently operates 4 weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Rai.

I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to visit Chiang Rai with AirAsia last week for a short but sweet 4D3N trip. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you my itinerary and some travelling tips in Chiang Rai. Hope you guys will find this guide useful!


Our stay in Chiang Rai this trip was THE RIVERIE BY KATATHANI. I highly recommend this hotel because it's SUPER CLEAN and cozy! Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this hotel is surrounded by lush greenery and the Kok river, that stretches more than 250km. Imagine yourself waking up to a beautiful view and having breakfast by the river - what an amazing way to start the day.

Grab Car is widely-accessible in Chiang Rai, and the fares are pretty affordable too! Alternatively, you can also hire a private driver from KLOOK to drive you around. I would recommend you to hire a private driver if you are planning to visit attractions further than the town area.


Here's an overview of my itinerary this trip:

16/03/19 (Saturday)
We did nothing much on this day because it was already nighttime by the time we arrived in our hotel. 

17/03/19 (Sunday)
- Breakfast at hotel
- Visit Chui Fong Tea Plantation 
- Lunch at The Wanderer Cafe
- Visit Singha Park
- Visit Wat Huay Pla Kang
- Dinner at Melt in Your Mouth Cafe

18/03/19 (Monday)
- Wake up at 3am and en route to Phu Chi Fa for sunrise
- Lunch at a local restaurant
- Visit the Tribe village
- Cupple Cups cafe
- Visit the Golden Clock Tower
- Dinner at Manoram cafe
- Visit the night market / go for massage 

19/03/19 (Tuesday)
- Breakfast at hotel & check-out
- Visit White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
- Visit Blue Temple (Wat Rong Seur Ten)
- Lunch at Chivit Thammada Coffee House

Choui Fong Tea Plantation 
Choui Fong plantation offers panoramic views of lush green that stretch as far as the eye can see. Besides, there are also cafes in the plantation area that serve tastEA smoothie drinks or juices to rejuvenate yourself. 

The Wanderer Cafe
Chiang Rai is full of exotic cafes, and The Wanderer Cafe is definitely a hidden gem! Surrounded by lush greenery, this cafe exudes a cozy yet mystery atmosphere. Not only for its looks, this cafe also serves pretty decent fusion Thai-Western food!

Singha Park
Singha park is a family-friendly attraction with landscaped flower gardens, cycle routes, walking trails and mini zoos! The park also hosts an annual balloon festival in February so it's an unfortunate that we didn't get manage to catch the festival. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you can also go for zip-lining and wall climbing.

Petting a pony!!

Wat Huay Pla Kang
Standing 79m tall, the Big Buddha statue in Wat Huay Pla Kang is really a magnificent sight. 

Melt in Your Mouth Cafe
I absolutely love cafes that are surrounded by nature! It feels as if you are entering a secret garden in a fairytale. This cafe also serves a mixture of asian and western cuisines! 

Phu Chi Fa
Overlooking the Lao border and 2.5hours drive from Chiang Rai, the 1,442m-high Phu Chi Fa mountain is a popular attraction among hikers for its sea of clouds and amazing views. 

Unfortunately, it was too hazy on the day we visited, so we didn't really get to a clear view. So I strongly advise you to check the weather before heading here to avoid any disappointment.

Photo credits to @zippyzipeng.

The union of hill tribe village is home to 5 hill tribe villages, namely, Lahu, Kayaw, Long Neck Karen, Yao and Akha. Originally from Burma, these villages have lived in this area for generations after escaping from the longtime conflict in Burma.

It was quite a rare and eye-opening experience for me as visiting them allowed me to learn more about their culture, tradition, living habits - up close and personal. All of them were really friendly and they also welcomed us with warm hospitality. 

It seems like each household has its own little thatched hut where they sell handicrafts like scarves, accessories and souvenirs to earn a living and support their family.  

This kind lass from the Long Neck Karen tribe even helped me to put on the brass ring around my neck. Even though I've barely worn it for 2 mins, I could already feel a soreness around my shoulders! It's honestly so inspiring that they still preserve this exotic tradition from generation to generation until today.
The villagers performing their traditional music and dance to welcome the visitors.
How adorable are they?!

Couple Cups Cafe
We dropped by Couple Cups cafe for a quick coffee break before dinner!

Chiang Rai Golden Clock Tower
Designed by the same artist that constructed White Temple, the Golden Clock Tower is located in the central district and also used as a roundabout. There's also a short nightly light show which occurs at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm!

Manoram Cafe
Another picturesque restaurant that offers a beautiful garden view. After a long day, this restaurant is just the perfect spot to relax.

White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Designed and constructed by Thailand artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, The White Temple is one of the most recognisable temples and tourist attractions in Chiang Rai. Unlike the traditional colourful decoration of Buddhist temples, Wat Rong Khun is just an absolute whiteness complex with intricate and ornate details. The colour white symbolises the purity of the Buddha. 

Entrance fee is only 50baht. 
Do take note that appropriate dress code is required. Sleeveless AND short garments are not allowed.

Blue Temple (Wat Rong Seur Ten)
Next, we visited Wat Rong Seur Ten, a.k.a, Blue Temple. This Buddhist temple is beautifully painted in blue and is rich in colours and gold embellishments. 

Chivit Thammada Coffee House
This cafe is the last cafe that we visited before heading to the airport. And it's my personal favourite among all!! I love both the exterior and interior of this cafe - it just exudes so much London countryside and vintage vibes! Besides, food is delicious here!

So this pretty much concludes my Chiang Rai trip!

Do I think Chiang Rai is worth a visit?
Absolutely YES!

Honestly, this beautiful city has so much to offer - it's a doorway to experience the cultures and scenic sights of Northern Thailand. 

If you are planning your next wanderlust vacation to Chiang Rai, I hope you find this guide helpful! Do share this post out if you enjoyed reading! ♡

Thank you so much for reading, and I will see you in my next one!


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